A selection of letters from our readers, published on July 1, 2011.

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Gala Day

SIR, - As the recent letter in the Journal and Gazette from Ms Thomson states, the issue of the eligibility of children to be entered into the draw for roles in the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children’s Gala Day has been raised in previous years. Unfortunately we have been unable to find any previous e-mail or letter from Ms Thomson on this subject for a formal response.

The committee understands that children and parents are disappointed and upset when not lucky in the random draw for a role in the Gala Day; even for those within the catchment area of the local primary schools. We are lucky that the primary schools and local youth organisations are keen to take part in the procession. This affords every child the opportunity to take part in the Gala Day if they wish.

The committee is bound by the constitution that states “Participation shall be open to all children in Primaries 1 to 7 living within the catchment area of the four non‑ denominational primary schools in Linlithgow - Linlithgow PS, Linlithgow Bridge PS, Low Port PS and Springfield PS, whether or not they attend these schools.”

The primary schools catchment area has been used to determine participation in the draw as it is not controlled by the committee but by West Lothian Council. If the catchment area is not to be used then where is the line drawn? There must be a line and therefore somebody will be hurt and disappointed. If the boundary is extended to include the cottages at Kingscavil will those at Champfleurie only ½ mile along the road not also be disappointed that they cannot take part in the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Gala Day or should the line be further extended?

It is not a question of maintaining tradition. The opportunity to amend the constitution is given at the Annual General Meeting. A notice of the meeting is printed in the Journal and Gazette in advance and is also publicised on the Gala Day website. Sadly the last AGM was poorly attended with no new people joining the committee and this issue was not raised. Perhaps Ms Thomson and others that feel so strongly on these issues will join the committee at the AGM to work as part of the committee, generate new ideas and help shape the future of the Gala Day for the community. Yours etc.,

The Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children’s Gala Day Committee

Kind act

SIR, - HAVING left my car at the garage for repairs I walked to Sainsbury’s with my 12 year-old daughter to pass the time. As we walked back down Mill Road to collect my car we were caught in the summer downpour. Taking shelter under a tree with my daughter from the torrential downpour we must have cast a sorry sight, to use an auld Scots word we were “drookit”. Waiting for the latest spell of liquid sunshine to pass, I caught sight out of the corner of my eye, a man approaching not dressed for the weather who had obviously came from one of the houses opposite. I could hardly believe it when he handed me the umbrella in his hand saying “there’s a brolly for your daughter, keep it, I’ve got plenty in the house” and left himself drookit with no umbrella as he returned to his home.

This random act of kindness really made my day, to think a total stranger in the shelter of his own home would go out in the pouring rain to offer a complete stranger the comfort of an umbrella on such a dreich day has given me hope and changed my whole outlook, to think that here in this country once famed for its hospitality and friendliness, but sadly now so often lacking, there are still many good people and it’s not all doom and gloom, I passed on that feeling of goodwill the whole day and I felt a whole lot better for it.

Can I thank the unknown gentleman of Mill Road, he is a credit to Linlithgow and I don’t think I had the words to thank him properly during our brief meeting. A single random act of kindness can go a long long way. Yours etc.,

TONY AND EMILY

Falkirk.

(wet to the bone but still smiling)

SIR, - The £5.2 million redevelopment of the Burgh Halls has been a great enhancement to what Linlithgow has to offer to both locals and tourists alike.

There is something missing however, which could enhance the redevelopment even more and that is adequate seating outside the building.

One of the seats which was outside the front of the Burgh Halls has been missing for some time together with some others that circled the Cross.

I know that we are living in austere times but do West Lothian Council have any plans to replace the missing seats?

I understand that Garrow’s Law is being filmed at Linlithgow Cross and Palace on June 30, 2011 and July 6, 2011.

Perhaps we could ask the BBC if they would like to donate some seats in return for the privilege of using these locations. Yours etc.,

CAMERON THOMSON

9 The Vennel, Linlithgow

Gala Day

SIR, - As the recent letter in the Journal and Gazette from Ms Thomson states, the issue of the eligibility of children to be entered into the draw for roles in the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children’s Gala Day has been raised in previous years. Unfortunately we have been unable to find any previous e-mail or letter from Ms Thomson on this subject for a formal response.

The committee understands that children and parents are disappointed and upset when not lucky in the random draw for a role in the Gala Day; even for those within the catchment area of the local primary schools. We are lucky that the primary schools and local youth organisations are keen to take part in the procession. This affords every child the opportunity to take part in the Gala Day if they wish.

The committee is bound by the constitution that states “Participation shall be open to all children in Primaries 1 to 7 living within the catchment area of the four non‑ denominational primary schools in Linlithgow - Linlithgow PS, Linlithgow Bridge PS, Low Port PS and Springfield PS, whether or not they attend these schools.”

The primary schools catchment area has been used to determine participation in the draw as it is not controlled by the committee but by West Lothian Council. If the catchment area is not to be used then where is the line drawn? There must be a line and therefore somebody will be hurt and disappointed. If the boundary is extended to include the cottages at Kingscavil will those at Champfleurie only ½ mile along the road not also be disappointed that they cannot take part in the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Gala Day or should the line be further extended?

It is not a question of maintaining tradition. The opportunity to amend the constitution is given at the Annual General Meeting. A notice of the meeting is printed in the Journal and Gazette in advance and is also publicised on the Gala Day website. Sadly the last AGM was poorly attended with no new people joining the committee and this issue was not raised. Perhaps Ms Thomson and others that feel so strongly on these issues will join the committee at the AGM to work as part of the committee, generate new ideas and help shape the future of the Gala Day for the community. Yours etc.,

The Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children’s Gala Day Committee

Kind act

SIR, - HAVING left my car at the garage for repairs I walked to Sainsbury’s with my 12 year-old daughter to pass the time. As we walked back down Mill Road to collect my car we were caught in the summer downpour. Taking shelter under a tree with my daughter from the torrential downpour we must have cast a sorry sight, to use an auld Scots word we were “drookit”. Waiting for the latest spell of liquid sunshine to pass, I caught sight out of the corner of my eye, a man approaching not dressed for the weather who had obviously came from one of the houses opposite. I could hardly believe it when he handed me the umbrella in his hand saying “there’s a brolly for your daughter, keep it, I’ve got plenty in the house” and left himself drookit with no umbrella as he returned to his home.

This random act of kindness really made my day, to think a total stranger in the shelter of his own home would go out in the pouring rain to offer a complete stranger the comfort of an umbrella on such a dreich day has given me hope and changed my whole outlook, to think that here in this country once famed for its hospitality and friendliness, but sadly now so often lacking, there are still many good people and it’s not all doom and gloom, I passed on that feeling of goodwill the whole day and I felt a whole lot better for it.

Can I thank the unknown gentleman of Mill Road, he is a credit to Linlithgow and I don’t think I had the words to thank him properly during our brief meeting. A single random act of kindness can go a long long way. Yours etc.,

TONY AND EMILY

Falkirk.

(wet to the bone but still smiling)

SIR, - The £5.2 million redevelopment of the Burgh Halls has been a great enhancement to what Linlithgow has to offer to both locals and tourists alike.

There is something missing however, which could enhance the redevelopment even more and that is adequate seating outside the building.

One of the seats which was outside the front of the Burgh Halls has been missing for some time together with some others that circled the Cross.

I know that we are living in austere times but do West Lothian Council have any plans to replace the missing seats?

I understand that Garrow’s Law is being filmed at Linlithgow Cross and Palace on June 30, 2011 and July 6, 2011.

Perhaps we could ask the BBC if they would like to donate some seats in return for the privilege of using these locations. Yours etc.,

CAMERON THOMSON

9 The Vennel, Linlithgow